By: Laura Walton AFC®
I think I could write a book based on the snippets of conversation I hear walking Tumamoc Hill in the early mornings. This morning I overheard “when I was in New Jersey, we’d camp at the Battenkill River”and “I’m bringing cucumber salad” and “we’re leaving early Thursday morning for San Diego.” It’s all about the memories past and soon to be made – here’s my Thanksgiving memory.
I grew up in Phoenix. Thanksgiving weather was barely a chill in the morning with a warm sun by noon. My parents would load up the car – a Chevrolet station wagon, the family car du jour of the 50’s – with the turkey, all the fixings, picnic table and chairs, grandparents and us. We’d drive north on Scottsdale Road and turn at a fence post only my dad could recognize to follow a dirt road that soon disappeared into the desert sand. It was cross country from there – a roller coaster of a ride, the best part of the adventure for us kids. My dad had commanded a tank unit through France and Germany in WWII and thought nothing of taking a passenger car across uncharted desert. He somehow always correctly navigated the depth of the dry washes and his theory was that the sage brush in our path cleaned the underside of the car – made sense to me.
We’d arrive at our destination – an old livestock watering hole – rendezvousing with other relatives. Whether the water hole was wet or dry that year, it was always a great place to play. At about age 5, my cousin Becky and I got stuck in the mud. I can still remember my feeling of sheer panic which, of course, was recorded on film by our amused parents.
One year my uncle was brave enough to offer to teach me and my cousins how to drive a stick shift. In hindsight, it’s amazing he sacrificed his truck to the project. The combination of the desert terrain and the lurching and stalling of our learning curve made for a lot of laughs and memories.
This year we’ll head into Sabino Canyon with a wonderful group of friends for our Thanksgiving picnic. Enjoy your Thanksgiving and, remember, it’s all about the memories.